Raybon: All the Ways I’m Fading Aaron Rodgers When Betting the NFC Championship Game
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers
It started out subtly at first. Five years later, it’s an undeniable reality: Aaron Rodgers is no longer Aaron Rodgers.
From 2008 through 2014, Rodgers led the NFL with 8.27 yards per pass attempt and threw 2.18 touchdowns per game, third-best.
But every time I look at his post-2014 numbers, I can’t stop that early-2010s art-pop song “Somebody That I Used to Know” from playing in my head.
First, the YPA dipped…
- 2015: 6.7 YPA, 1.9 TDs/game
- 2016: 7.3 YPA, 2.2 TDs/game
- 2017: 7.0 YPA, 2.3 TDs/game
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
…but the touchdowns were still there, at least…
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
…then those started dropping…
- 2018: 7.4 YPA, 1.6 TDs/game
- 2019: 7.0 YPA, 1.6 TDs/game
No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
…and it all completely bottomed out over the second half of this season.
- 2019, Weeks 9-17: 5.9 YPA, 1.3 TDs/game
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Rodgers still never throws picks, and I’d argue much of the 36-year-old’s decline is due to a bare cupboard of receiving weapons aside from Davante Adams — Jimmy Graham is washed while Allen Lazard, Geronimo Allison and Co. were never really dirty to begin with — rather than age, but whatever the cause, the end result has been middling-to-below-average quarterback play: Rodgers ranks 14th in Passer Rating Under Pressure (74.0 per Pro Football Focus) and 28th in Completion Percentage Over Expectation (-1.7, per Next Gen Stats) while the Packers rank 23rd in third-down conversion rate (36.0%) this season.
Last week, I backed the Packers against Seattle because I didn’t think they needed a cameo from the Rodgers That We Used to Know in order to cover.
But this week against a vaunted San Francisco defense that allowed a league-low 4.8 net yards per pass attempt, I’m fading Rodgers in almost every way imaginable.